I’m Not The Mother I Thought I’d Be, But I Am The One My Children Need

a1
I am not the sort of mother I thought I would be. I can hear the Mexican wave cry of ‘haha! Nobody is!,’ careering at me, in a tidal mass of I Told You So. Yes, it’s an absolute motherhood rite of passage to laugh at yourself, and denounce all of the things you were 100% never going to do as a mother, as you tutted at those eating a quiet lunch while their children watched random people opening Kinder Eggs on Youtube, and felt sorry for the children of the mum who was begging them in a deranged hiss, to ‘please just stop bloody fighting’ and offered them a lifetime’s supply of Haribo if they did so. Yes, I’ve been there and done that with the rest of you-nothing new there.

What I’m talking about, runs a lot deeper than that. I had gotten to the point where the only days I enjoyed, were the days my children were at nursery. On those days, I’d feel a prickle of dread about having to go and collect them at the end of the day. I’d scramble around on the other days in between, desperately trying to get my mum, my brother, my dad, anyone, to come over, so that I didn’t have to be alone with them. I’d feel a white hot fury, if my mum took them to the park for ‘a couple of hours,’ and came back after one hour. I wondered how I had got to the point where I woke up dreading each day, and wasn’t sure how I would get through it. Questioning how I had so fantastically failed in the one job in life I was sure I would succeed at-did my children start every day moaning, screaming, and being difficult (and manage to keep this up for an entire day relentlessly,) because I had done something so very badly wrong, that I didn’t know about? I even started to wonder if I was actually innately evil, and this had somehow been missed throughout the rest of my life, manifesting now in motherhood-because absolutely nobody should feel like that about their children, should they…?

A lot of my questions were answered when both of the children had health scares. After a series of Drs visits, the littlest was eventually referred to the children’s hospital-nobody was really sure what was wrong with him. On the days leading up to the appointment, I couldn’t sleep, of course, going through every worst case scenario in my head. I felt sick, as he skipped down the hospital corridors, no care in the world, with no clue as to why he was there. It turns out the consultant put her finger on what was wrong with him immediately, and it was nothing that a short course of medication wouldn’t fix. I cried with relief. No sooner did we have that out of the way, when we were at a friend’s birthday party, and my husband thrust the eldest in my face, telling me to ‘do something.’ He was grey, and waxy, and his lips a strange shade of cyanosed. The horrified gasps of the people around us was audible, and as the ex nurse, everyone was looking right at me. I just stood there. At that point all I could think of was that I wasn’t sure if I remembered how to do paediatric life support. I wasn’t really aware that the fact I was thinking that, meant that my child, right there in front of me, might actually need it.

Again, a simple explanation was offered to us, as to why this had happened-nothing to do with the cardiac dysfunction I had talked myself into believing we would be told he had. In the days afterwards, I checked him hourly overnight, sleeping fitfully in between, wondering if five minutes after I had checked him, he might have another episode, and how would I contemplate existing, if anything happened to him.
It was in that moment, that I realised that I wasn’t the terrible, evil person I had convinced myself I was. I’m not the mother I thought I’d be, but raising children is also nothing like I thought it would be. Sometimes (99% of the time at the moment for us,) children will be assholes. And sometimes, no amount of expert advice, raiding the internet and your local ‘what’s on for kids’ directory for new ideas, will change that. Sometimes, you will wish that your children could go to boarding school, and you could have an extended break from them, and when they’re in bed, you might announce ‘those f***ers hate me,’ to your husband (by you, I mean me, but it might be you too.) But I am the mother who barely slept, for checking my children, and although sometimes I wake up wondering how I will get through the day, I still go out of my way to make the day fun and entertaining, through the screaming.

I am the mother who gets a prickle of dread at going to collect the children from nursery, knowing that the coming bedtime debacle might give me a nervous breakdown, and might have nicknamed the days they aren’t at nursery Twatface Tuesdays, Wank Wednesdays, and Thank F**k It’s Nursery Again Tomorrow Thursdays, but will still hug and squeeze their faces when I collect them, like I’ve missed them with every inch of my being, in some sort of juxtaposed mind f**k. The fact that I care so much about why the children’s behaviour is so bad at the moment, and the pain that I sometimes don’t want to spend time with them, defines the whole situation. Because if I didn’t care, I’d just stick my feet up, wack on The Walking Dead, tell my children Negan is coming to get them, and let them fight to the death. I care about changing things, and I realised that sometimes, everything being bollocks, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t die for them-they don’t need the mother I thought I’d be-I’m sure they’re more than happy with what they’ve got.

001

31 Comments

  1. November 14, 2016 / 2:30 am

    Oh you nearly made me cry! I am so feeling that, too!! Love them in a way I cannot even explain, but definitely fighting constantly with my threenager is draining, and the waking dread of another day is real. Thanks for your honesty and helping me feel a little more ‘ok’ about these feelings. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 14, 2016 / 6:39 am

      I was a bit worried about publishing this, I thought there might be haters saying that I was ungrateful. But that’s one of the points I’m trying to make, I feel so lucky to have the children, but like you say, the dread at the same time, for another week of terrible days, is certainly real. Im so glad you identified with this, and now you know that there’s someone who feels just like you xx

  2. November 14, 2016 / 9:05 am

    I think everyone has preconceived notions of how they’ll parents. Then it all changes once those babies are actually there wrecking havoc. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 14, 2016 / 9:07 am

      That is very true!!

  3. November 14, 2016 / 9:27 am

    I have a lump in my throat reading this and I can 100% relate to what you’ve written. There are days when I just cannot wait to get to bed time and I whisper “FML” into the fridge far more often that is appropriate, but every morning I wake up and want to squish them both to within an inch of their existence as I’ve missed them just through the night. I can only imagine what you must have gone through with health scares for your two and I’m so relieved for you that they are both OK. I honestly don’t think that they could wish for a better mum. Thank you for sharing this – you are not alone! xx

    • This Mum's Life
      November 14, 2016 / 9:40 am

      *crying* thank you so much Dawn. I honestly thought I’d be hung drawn and quartered for this, but I’m so glad people are getting it. What you said-that’s it-every single day! x

  4. November 14, 2016 / 9:28 am

    I’m really feeling this at the moment- and not so much about the children to be honest but all of the stuff that comes along with it – no one told me that being a mother would bring 1950s style drudgery into my life!

    I also think, for me at least, the dark miserable November days do not help one bit!

    • This Mum's Life
      November 14, 2016 / 9:43 am

      I think you’ve hit on something there-I’ve definitely noticed that this has been much worse, and a fall in my mood, since the clocks changed. I’m totally with you on the drudgery-I often think ‘is this it? Is this all I’m reduced to?’ I know it’ll get better, it’s just finding happiness in other ways and things! Thank you for commenting x

  5. November 14, 2016 / 10:01 am

    I think you have written what many of us experience and such honesty should be applauded. I often think letting go of preconceived notions is often a first step of maturning and then finding out and growing into the person you are is the second step. And as your children grow older, you will find that you will mature and change even more as a mother, but even when we don’t realise it, we do grow into the mothers our children need at that time. I feel so much for you and I could feel so much of the emotions behind the post and short of sounding like a cliche, motherhood is a journey, very much about finding out about yourself as well as about raising children.

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:39 am

      That’s very true, I think you just constantly change, and find out new things about yourself, and constantly having to adjust and process all of these things you learn about yourself, is exhausting! Adjusting expectations of being a mum is also exhausting! Thanks for the lovely comment xx

  6. November 14, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    What a brilliant, honest post. I totally get it. I have one day off a week to spend with my little bundle and sometimes it can be a real challenging day – and then I feel enormously guilty that I didn’t enjoy it more. Those health scares must have been terrifying too. x #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:42 am

      They were so scary, and I then guilt tripped myself that it was some kind of punishment for being ungrateful for the children… The guilt is never ending! You’re right, the guilt at not enjoying the ‘precious’ time can be overwhelming. But when that time has been spent with everyone crying, stressed, and annoyed, nobody is going to take good memories and positivity away from that!!

  7. November 14, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Oh you write so beautifully Luce. We’ve all been there, well I have anyway! My children have been going through a phase of fighting at the moment and it is just so miserable and draining and makes me hate motherhood. And yet I love them so much it hurts. But then I want a chance to miss them again and rant at my husband about how hideous they are until I get another precious break! Thanks for linking with us! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:46 am

      Yes, you’ve summed up just how it is!! I’ve had some awful rants to my husband about terrible the children are-when I think of some of the things I’ve said… But then they do something amazing and all is forgotten-it’s no wonder our minds are all over the place!!
      Thanks for the lovely comment x

  8. November 14, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    This is all so true! I feel exactly the same on a daily basis. I wonder what made me want to do it all, why did I think I would be any good at it? Then they come to me for comfort, we have a couple of laughs in between the tantrums and I figure it isn’t all bad. They seem to know how to push right to the very edge of what I can cope with and then pull me back from the abyss at the last minute. People also forget that nurse or ex nurse (with you there) it is very very different when it is your own child. No amount of medical training can prepare you for that.
    #BigPinkLink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:49 am

      Yes, I love the description of being pushed to the very edge-it’s like they know that if they push you an inch further, it’s game over, and they reel you back in. And I felt totally unprepared for any medical emergency regarding them-it’s promoted me to look into a paediatric bls course xx

  9. November 14, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    I love your honesty in this post. I’m not there yet, but my daughter is younger than yours and I’m sure there will be days when I feel similar. There are so many juxtaposing emotions as a parent. It can be tough xx #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:50 am

      Yes, so much internal conflict, and so much emotion! It is so hard!

  10. November 14, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    Love your honesty. There’s no doubt about it – it can be so, so hard sometimes. I can totally relate to a lot of what you are saying. Thanks for writing this. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:50 am

      I’m glad you can relate to it xx

  11. November 14, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    Ohhh this made me so emotional and I completely relate to it! Some days I feel like all I did that day is scream at the children, I wish I had more patience and at the same time, that they would whinge little less. You are an amazing parent, keep going mama. #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:52 am

      Thanks so much, I’m so glad you relate to this too! That feeling of having just screamed all day, is just awful, and sometimes I feel the shouting and screaming has escalated out of control, and I don’t know how to stop it!

  12. November 14, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    It’s a difficult game. I enjoyed reading this post it made me feel less bad about the shitty afternoon I’ve had with my now sleeping toddler!! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:53 am

      I’m glad it’s made you feel a bit better!

  13. November 14, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    A very honest post and we all go through it! Thank you for your bravery! #BigPinkLink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:53 am

      Thanks for reading!

  14. November 14, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    I feel this, I really, really do. And it’s so good when someone else admits that sometimes you do resent your children, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love them. I am glad you got through the health scares. Thank you for writing this post. And roll on nursery day… #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:57 am

      My parents don’t read many of my posts, but my mum read this one, and said ‘wow, your honesty is just brutal, none of my friends would’ve dared to admit to any of this when you were younger. But I bloody wish they had, because it would’ve made me feel so much better.’ That’s why I much prefer the brutal honesty-I’m pretty sure there’s others out there feeling the same, and then we can all feel a bit less guilty about it together x

  15. November 15, 2016 / 4:18 am

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I think a LOT of parents feel trapped by unruly small children and not sure how they ended up with tiny terrors when they started out with such good intentions! Most sunday nights I end up shaking my head and wondering how early I can put them to bed before they destroy the house! Visiting from #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      November 15, 2016 / 6:59 am

      Hehe!! That’s how I feel most nights!! Yes, it’s weighing your intentions, against what you’ve ended up with, and getting used to how different the two things ended up…!!! It’s very confusing!

  16. November 20, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    I’m not the mum I thought I’d be either! We can only do our best though! #bigpinklink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *